15 Best Email Marketing Practices for 2023
Sending out emails but getting little response? You're not taking full advantage of the best email marketing practices. Email marketing is by far the most effective digital marketing strategy in your arsenal today – if you know how to use it.
Consider: 4 out of 5 marketers swear they'd rather quit social media than give up email marketing. Email is, after all, the most popular communication medium ever – over 4 billion daily email users are sending and receiving 306 billion emails per day.
Far from the premature proclamations that 'email is dead,' it continues to produce $44 for every $1 spent – the highest ROI of any channel.
But achieving this staggering benefit means using the latest email marketing practices for 2023. To maximise your success, I've compiled a must-read list of best practices honed and learned from helping our clients.
Let's get started!
Best Email Marketing Practices 2023
1. Personalise your emails
Does anyone turn around when someone shouts "hey" into a crowd? Probably not. But if someone shouts your name, turning around is instinctual. Who said that? That's the logic behind email personalisation.
Your email could start with "Dear Subscriber," but if you've already got their first name in your records, why not go one step further? "Hey Sam!" or "Michelle, Thailand is Waiting For You" will spark far greater engagement.
Personalisation tokens are a placeholder for information like a contact's first name or company name. They're the secret ingredient to higher open rates. Combine that with an exclusive offer or a known customer interest; it's a surefire success. For example, you could customise the email topics:
"Looking for [Topic]? We've got an amazing collection of new products in store."
2. Always segment your email campaigns
Campaign segmentation is the absolute gold standard of email best practices. It involves dividing your email list into segments based on shared characteristics. That could be age, location, gender, or even purchase history.
Doing so leads to specificity. Where old-school mass marketing wastes thousands in ad spend reaching uninterested buyers, you can target the right customer with the right message.
Little wonder marketers using segmentation saw up to a 760% increase in revenue, according to the Data & Marketing Association.
Segmentation is easy with a capable email marketing platform like Omnisend or MailChimp. The real challenge is creating emails targeted to a specific demographic. Here's a proven strategy: for email subscribers who've already made a purchase, send an email cross-selling other products – e.g., "You Might Be Interested in [Product X]."
Overall, segmentation is among the most reliable techniques to skyrocket your ROI.
3. Write killer subject lines
Subject lines are the hardest part of the email. Too often, they're an afterthought – a few scrambled-together phrases without thought or care.
Your subject titles should stand out in the inbox. Don't be subtle – you're literally competing for attention. Use every psychological trick in the book to grab a customer's attention, forcing them to click.
A reliable trick is to create intrigue or mystery in a subscriber's mind and put the answer in the email. That could be a question, an exclusive offer, or an incomplete thought.
For example, "We've found the proven answer to antiaging. Want to know more?" Who doesn't want to stop ageing?
But wait, you say, isn't this clickbait? No! It's only clickbait if your subject line doesn't match your email content. If your product really does stop ageing – or whatever problem it solves – then you're delving into a useful service. However, if your subject line promises something your content doesn't deliver, customers can feel conned and may unsubscribe.
Last, you can use influential words – like "offer," "quick," "hurry," "bargain," "announcing," and "magic" – to prompt a customer to click.
4. Deliver value
Sending emails to a subscriber's inbox is a privilege. Never take it for granted. Spamming flimsy, vacuous emails won't endear subscribers to your brand, nor are deceptive clickbait tactics helpful in the long run.
Ensure every email you send provides value to your subscribers. That could be an exclusive birthday offer, a newsletter full of insights, a reminder about your latest product, or a cart abandonment email.
Remember, a key tenant of email marketing is keeping your audience engaged with your brand. Just because you aren't making a sale doesn't mean your subscribers don't want to hear it.
5. Add a clear call to action (CTA)
We're not sending emails for the hell of it. You want your subscribers to act a certain way – normally buying your product or service. Why not just say so?
If you're emailing about a new product, your CTA could be "Buy Now" or, even better, "Add to Cart. Hurry, They're Selling Fast."
Your CTA should be concise and action-orientated. Want a customer to book a consultation? Your CTA should be "Book a Consultation." It also helps to make the CTA a clickable button or link guiding a user to where they can complete the action.
6. Choose one or two fonts
Using a cornucopia of fonts is a crime against design, a visual onslaught of headache-inducing proportions. Not only does your email look cluttered and confused, but your brand is less defined. Customers should open your email and immediately know it's you.
I'd advise using a distinctive primary font for your headers and a secondary readable font for your main text. If you require multiple fonts, use the third font sparingly – and ensure it complements the other two.
7. Optimise your emails for mobile
Mobile is the future of the internet. Forty-two percent of emails are already on mobile devices, and it's only increasing. Ensuring your email design is responsive to desktop and mobile will make engagement easier.
The text should be large enough to read, and images and buttons should be enlarged. Remember, subscribers aren't using the delicacy of a mouse but their fingers. Cater to that.
8. Integrate videos
They say a picture tells a thousand words. Well, a video is a thousand pictures – literally. Integrating videos into your email marketing practices is guaranteed to produce results.
You could add a YouTube video you created, a short clip introducing your product or a holiday greeting. Webinars and podcast episodes are other excellent sources of video content.
Adding videos into emails brought in more leads for 86% of marketers, with a further 87% reporting a positive ROI.
9. Develop a reliable signup method
Your email marketing practices are only as successful as the size of your email list. More subscribers lead to a greater chance of results.
You'll want to advertise the benefits of signing up. Here at Impeccable Writing, email subscribers get a monthly email chock-full of content writing tips and advice – not found anywhere else. But for other businesses, sweetening the deal can work even better. Adding a small offer to incentivise subscribing is a rapid, reliable way to build a substantial email list.
You should also ensure your signup forms are easy-to-spot. Using lightboxes or eye-catching designs works wonders. Some email marketing platforms, like Omnisend, even allow interactive signup forms.
10. Use social proof
Every sale is built on trust. Whether we've compared different companies, received a recommendation from a friend, or seen positive feedback on social media, we buy when we've got confidence in a brand.
Social proof is the quickest way to build trust with your subscribers. Adding customer comments, reviews, unboxing videos, and more can result in a substantial uptick in sales.
Your email marketing campaigns can also prompt people to leave a review. Set up an email to automatically ask for a review a set number of days after purchase.
11. Send welcome emails
Just received a new subscriber? Welcome them to the club! Eight out of ten customers expect a welcome message; it helps to make a great first impression.
Your welcome email should introduce your brand, confirm that they're on the email list, and present a few highlights they can expect. Your welcome emails are a chance to showcase your brand:
Tell a short brand story
Highlight glowing customer reviews
Ask subscribers to follow you on social media
Feature your most recent and popular articles
12 Target specific subscriber activities
Every major subscriber activity should have an accompanying email. Not only does it prompt customer action, but it serves as a record. Target these key subscriber activities:
Send a welcome email when a subscriber signs up
Send a thank you email after a certain number of orders – include an exclusive offer
Send a cart abandonment email when a subscriber fails to checkout
Send a product review email after a subscriber completes a purchase
Send a reactivation email if your subscriber fails to open your emails
13. Create a sleek email design
Sleek, minimalist email designs aren't merely an aesthetic choice but a functional choice. Bamboozling subscribers with a visual assault won't trigger action; customers don't know where to click or look.
Use minimal content to achieve the desired results. Your subscriber should be able to skim the email for anything of interest in a minute.
I tend to advise clients to stick to a maximum of three to four items within the email. I keep the text short – using bold to highlight important words or phrases (if appropriate). Designs are symmetrical, and sections are clearly defined using spacing and lines. Oh, and your key message should always come first, complete with an entertaining, enlivening headline.
14. Automate your emails
Running an email marketing campaign is time demanding. If you can save time, do! Cart abandonment emails, welcome emails, product review emails, and more can all be automated. Create the email, set the parameters of when it should be sent and to whom, and go.
Best of all, you can automate your emails to be sent at the optimal time. The best days to send emails, according to the metrics, are Tuesday (#1), Thursday (#2), and Wednesday (#3).
Many marketers say you should send emails on a Monday as that's the start of the week.
However, that's also the day subscribers are wading through their weekend email deluge. You'll get lost in the blizzard. Tuesday, however, gives you a clean inbox in which to shine.
15. Reuse content
Reusing content is seen as taboo. Won't customers notice? Maybe. But if you've written a blog article, created a successful video for social media, or some other form of content, you should use that across as many mediums as possible. If it works, why change it?
I'm not saying send the same email again and again. I am saying squeeze as much value out of the content you've got to hand as you can. That's the whole point.
Want a Revenue-Generating Email Campaign? Go Impeccable
Feeling a little dazed and confused? Running email campaigns can feel daunting. That's where we come in. We'll create your email marketing campaigns, writing and designing high-quality, engaging emails that get opened. Once we set the wheels in motion, we'll monitor your metrics, tweaking the campaign to generate even better results.
Getting started couldn't be simpler. Book a free consultation to explore your options today.